Shopper Marketing - January 2017 - 10
Alexa, What's My Marketi
amed American philosopher Homer
Simpson once called alcohol "the cause
of, and solution to, all of life's problems." I
sometimes feel the same way about marketing technology.
Digital technologies and communications
channels offer marketers an unprecedented,
once unimagined ability to personally, directly
communicate with consumers to build brand
affinity and influence purchase decisions: Amazon Echo (see page 40) and Google Home
are even paving the way for a day when marketers may literally talk directly to consumers.
But technology also offers an equally unprecedented and almost certainly unimagined ability on the part of consumers not only
to control their own purchase decisions, but
to block marketers from having any opportunity to influence them: They can "Subscribe
& Save" and never give another thought
to which brand of laundry detergent they
should use - or another thought to when,
where or how to buy it.
Unfortunately, the technological ease with
which consumers can now be reached directly
seems to makes some marketers feel as if their
jobs have become easier: Schedule a bunch of
programmatic ad buys and retarget the bejeezus out of anyone who comes near your website and, congratulations, you're directly reaching your target audience - throw in a "Hey,
Peter" or directions to a nearby Walgreens and
SHOPPER MARKETING JANUARY 2017
you've effectively personalized the message.
However, "targeted" doesn't always mean
relevant, and "personalized" doesn't always
mean personal. The more marketers utilize
technology to automate their communication
parameters, the less relevant the message often becomes. Then, we're simply finding new
ways to continue bombarding consumers
with the same old unwanted advertising.
A glaring example of this is the practice employed by at least a few newspaper websites
that run splash ads inviting visitors to view a
retailer's weekly circular before they even get
to the home page (see image). So we've not
only modernized the experience of viewing
the circular for consumers who like that shopping tool, we've also modernized the annoyance of getting rid of it for the people who
don't. Progress works in mysterious ways.
I was similarly troubled in early December
when I opened up my Skype app to find an
ad from Walmart promoting a Wi-Fi-enabled
Black & Decker slow cooker; the Wi-Fi lets you
start the appliance remotely, so your pulled
pork will be ready for serving when you get
home from work.
In this case, the advertised product is most
certainly modern (welcome to the Internet
of Things). And the delivery vehicle is pretty
modern, too. What's missing, again, is relevance and personalization.
Please don't get me wrong; I'm not opposed